Early Rookie of the Year Candidates

While the majority of NBA teams have at least 20 games under their belts, there have been a few standouts among the rookies.

5. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope- Guard

kcpA mouthful of a name, but he will be one of the players to watch in the very near future. KCP has not seen a ton of playing time because of the talent already surrounding him on the Pistons roster. He only averages 7.3 points per game and 2.1 rebounds, but in just about 20 minutes per game he certainly makes the most of his time. Once he sees more time on the floor, his production will only rise

4.Ben McLemore- Guard

bmcWhile he may not be #1 on the music charts this year, McLemore is making a name for himself in a different way. On a bottom feeding Kings team, McLemore sees a fair share of minutes at 25 per game. While Isiah Thomas, his partner in the back court eats up all the assists, McLemore only benefits from a lack of coverage and puts up 10 ppg and 3 assists per game as well.

3. Trey Burke- Guard

tbOne of the most exciting players to watch in last years March Madness, continues his highlight reel for the Utah Jazz. He may have started off the season with an injury, but in the 10 games he played he has been a small bright spot in the Jazz unimpressive season. He has seen a consistent increase in minutes per game and continues to improve stat wise as well. Burke is average 12.7 ppg, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.1 assists.

2. Victor Oladipo- Guard

voOladipo had an impressive career in Indiana and looks to keep it up with the Orlando Magic. On a team full of young guys, Oladipo may not have the most impressive stats among rookie guards, but the contributions he makes to his team do not go unnoticed. He has proven himself to be a great floor manager and a consistent scoring threat from inside and out. He is averaging 13.8ppg, 4.6 rbg, and 3.6 apg. The only thing he needs to work on is his 75% from the free throw line.

1. Michael Carter-Williams-Guard


MCW has had one of the hottest starts ever for a rookie. He flirts with a double-double every night and consistently pulls down rebounds. There have been some very unfortunate injuries at inopportune times, but nothing that seems to be a long term issue. He leads rookies in points per game and assists per game. He makes the 76ers a very scary team moving forward and seems to be their point guard to build around. In 37 minutes per game he has been averaging 17.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 7.3 assists. If he stays healthy, he looks to be a shoe in for rookie of the year.

Honorable mention- Tim Hardaway, Jr, Hollis Thompson, Tony Snell, Kelly Olynyk , Vitor Faverani

Written by: Joe Quinn


Cano and Granderson Move On


MLB free agency had another big day today with 2 more significant signings. This time the biggest name in free agency, Robinson Cano, decided to move on from the New York Yankees and sign a 10 year $240 million deal with the Seattle Mariners. I hate everything about this deal except the fact that I won’t have to see Cano in pinstripes in 2014. This contract is bad for Cano and the Mariners. Cano is going from an annual contender in the New York Yankees to a franchise that hasn’t made a playoff appearance since 2001 and have only finished 2nd in the AL West twice in that time. Yes, Cano is going to get paid a lot of money for the next 10 years but is that enough for professional athletes these days? Where is the desire to win? Where is the desire to go to a contender and compete for a title and not just a big paycheck? Just like Ellsbury, I don’t respect his reasons for moving to Seattle. Cano cannot honestly believe that his addition will turn around this franchise even with King Felix on the bump every 5 days.

As for the Mariners, this deal only works and makes sense if they make additional signings to complement Cano and Hernandez. Cano himself is not going to turn this franchise around and committing $240 million to a player on the wrong side of 30 is ridiculous. Yes, he is one if not the best second basemen in the MLB who has succeeded in big markets like New York, but he does not deserve that kind of money, no one does. It’s clear that the New York Yankees were not going to give into the demands of Cano and his agents so they were trying to leverage them with an offer from the Mariners and both the Mariners and Cano’s agents got played. Cano ended up going to the Mariners instead of back to New York and Seattle overpaid by a lot because they didn’t recognize that the Yankees weren’t going to pay that much. One can only hope that the Mariners add pieces around Cano because they do have a solid top of the rotation and with the right moves could be legitimate contenders in the AL West.

The next big signing was of Curtis Granderson, who took a ride on the subway from the Yankees to the Mets. At 4 years and $15 million per year this is a deal I love for Granderson. The Mets have some serious pitching prospects and still have plenty of money to spend in free agency this year to add pieces around him. Granderson will love staying in New York and was able to get paid slightly more than he deserves even if it isn’t with the Yankees.

This is a deal I like for the Mets as well, they get a great top of the order hitter with exceptional speed and above average defense. Granderson has taken 91 pitches deep over the last 3 seasons and is a legitimate threat on the base paths and can cover a lot of ground in the outfield. I believe the Mets overpaid somewhat for the aging outfielder, but it’s worth the investment especially for only 4 years. Granderson is a good start for their rebuild but there is still much room for improvement in the other New York clubhouse.

Written by: John Kotkowski

Celtics Stuck in Neutral

(Boston Globe)

(Boston Globe)

The Celtics are out to an 8-12 record through the first 20 games of the 13-14 NBA season under new head coach Brad Stevens. That record is good, or bad enough for the 4 seed in the current Eastern Conference standings. They are currently in position to finish ahead of “better” teams such as Chicago, New York, Brooklyn, Atlanta and even Philadelphia who were projected to be a legitimate threat in the East this season.

If you’ve been watching the C’s this season, you have seen flashes of a great basketball team in years to come with wins against Miami, Atlanta and Cleveland. The very next game, you’re almost guaranteed to see a pathetic loss to Milwaukee or Charlotte.

This inconsistency is exactly what fans don’t want to see with a top heavy 2014 draft class. When the Celtics traded away their team in the offseason, it was expected that the team would tank without Rondo for a good chunk of the season and bring in a top 3 prospect such as Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins, who could possibly be the next Lebron and Durant.

The future of this season doesn’t look to promising either. With Brooklyn banged up, New York in no mans land, Derrick Rose done for the year, Nerlens Noel benched for the year, and Rondo coming back in a matter of weeks, Boston is all but guaranteed a playoff spot with the talent on the roster. They may slide down to the 6,7, or 8 seed if New York and Brooklyn can turn it around, but a high lottery pick seems out of the question with the way the bottom feeders of the East are playing at the moment. Milwaukee is likely to tank the rest of the season as they have been and load up on more young talent and contend for a title in the next 2-3 years.

Whether the Celtics do slip into the lottery or not, the young talent that they already have on the floor does seem promising. A future starting 5 of Rondo, Bradley/Crawford,Green, Sullinger and Olynyk/Faverani could be dangerous in the very near future. The obvious reason for the Celtics recent struggles is in the front court, but Sullinger and Olynyk may have something to say about that. Sit tight Celtics fans, things are on the upslope at the Garden. For the time being enjoy 10$ seats to most games.

Written by: Joe Quinn

Pierzynski Added, Ellsbury Moves On

Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox

MLB free agency began to heat up today as both the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees made splashes with a couple of big signings.Early this morning reports that the Sox signed A.J. Pierzynksi to replace the void left by free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Personally I believe that this is a great signing for the Red Sox. They get a veteran catcher to hold the position down for one season as prospects continue to develop in the minors and its an upgrade from Salty, at least offensively. One of the biggest knocks of Pierzynksi is that he’s  not well liked around the league. This may be true but leadership in Boston will help to reign that in and the type of fiery attitude he has should make him a fan favorite in Boston. I think we see strong offensive production from the veteran despite his age and I see someone that Gomes and the soon to be resigned Napoli will tear up the city of Boston with come April.

The Yankees weren’t about to sit back and let the Red Sox make all the moves today however, they went out and signed one of the biggest names in free agency, former Red Sox centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. He signed for 7 years and $21.85 million per year and moves on from a World Series Champion to the Bronx Bombers. Am I completely surprised by this? No, Jacoby Ellsbury has the best agent in the MLB in Scott Boras who is a ruthless negotiator, of course he was going to get a ton of money. What is a little surprising however is the fact that the Yankees were willing to spend that much on the center fielder and that Ellsbury decided to move on to the Yankees a year after winning a title in Boston. The injury prone Ellsbury doesn’t seem worth such a big investment and definitely not for 7 years, with this contract he now makes more than David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia combined annually. Ellsbury’s move is very Damon esque and one that I hate to see professional athletes make. He moved for the money, not for the chance to win more titles. Boston is a better team than New York and he has a better chance of winning with the Sox than he does with the Yankees. I could understand him moving because he believes he has a better chance of winning, but he doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong, Ellsbury leaving isn’t heartbreaking news to me, I’m excited about Jackie Bradley Jr. and this way the Sox can spend money elsewhere, maybe a Mike Napoli 3 year deal? So good riddance Jacoby, have fun in New York, I don’t respect your reasons for leaving but I’m not gonna shed any tears either.

Never Say Tank

(USA Today)

(USA Today)

The Boston Celtics team has been completely blown up over the last month. First the coach, and then the two best players of the last 20 years to play for the team in Garnett and Pierce. The words rebuild and tank have become the most overused phrases by the Boston media. Teams that “tank” are frowned upon by the league and the fans, but tanking is the only way for those teams to build for the future. After Lebron left Cleveland to take his talents to South Beach in 2011, the Cavaliers had no other option but to play poorly enough for a high pick in the following seasons draft.

Unless you have a playoff caliber team in an attractive location, you are not able to entice superstar talent to come to your team in free agency. Dwight Howard would’ve gotten a max contract from several teams around the league, but he chose Houston because they are already in a prime position to make a deep playoff run. Teams like Minnesota, Charlotte and New Orleans can now acquire top talent in trades or free agency because they are in the last stage of their rebuilding phase and drafted top 5 picks for the last several years.

Boston is in a completely different situation. The Celtics have a great core of young talent, but are by no means ready to compete with the Eastern Conference powerhouses. They are entering the first year of their rebuilding phase and it will likely take them at least 2-3 years to become a deep playoff team again. Boston is not in the right spot to get top 5 draft picks either because they simply aren’t bad enough. Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, and Jeff Green alone could make a serious run at the 8 seed in this years playoffs. With Sullinger coming back and the addition of the mediocre talent from the Nets trade, this team is almost guaranteed the 6, 7 or 8 seed and that will never be  good enough to win a title or bad enough to capture a number one draft pick.

It must have been easy for the big names in free agency to look past a Boston team that will be stuck in neutral for the next few seasons. Sadly, Boston is too resilient of a team to take a season off to “tank” and subtract years off of the rebuilding phase. Boston fans can hope that the team somehow strikes gold with at least one of their nine mid-late first round picks in the next 5 drafts.

With that being said, it will be affordable to watch Celtics basketball at the Garden next season, but that doesn’t mean the price of beer is coming down too.

Written by: Joe Quinn

R.I.P. Big East Football

BYE-BYE-BIG-EAST10 years ago today, Big East football included several “big name schools” such as Miami (FL), Boston College, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. All of those school and the rest of what once was the Big East football conference will play football against completely different opponents in separate conferences. Here is a list of where each team will be competing this upcoming season.

  • Boston College, which left the Big East in 2005, is now a member of the ACC in all sports.
  • Miami also joined the ACC, but in 2004
  • West Virginia joined the Big 12 in 2012
  • Virginia Tech has been competing in the ACC since 2004
  • Connecticut will now compete in the AAC
  • Syracuse, which was amongst the last 3 schools to leave the Big East, has also joined the ACC
  • Pittsburgh has officially joined the ACC as of today
  • Rutgers is now in the Big 10
  • Temple has switched conferences again, and is now in the AAC
  • Cincinnati has joined the AAC
  • Louisville joined the AAC
  • South Florida joined the AAC
  • Notre Dame remains independent

The Big East conference will still exist in all other sports, but the football rivalries that once made the Big East a power conference should never be forgotten.

For a more detailed breakdown of the conference-

Written by: Joseph Quinn